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Podcast: How To Support People Through Loss

Loss and grief affect all of us at some point in our lives. In this new episode of our How To Build Community podcast, Barnabé Anzaruni, a theologian based in Kenya, shares his personal experiences with loss and grief and provides advice on how best to support someone through the process. You can listen or read the highlights below.

When words are not enough Despite our best efforts to bring encouragement and support, the words we speak may fail to bring comfort in moments of emotional anguish and can even have a negative effect. Sometimes the best approach is simply to be there for the person and to listen when they want to talk. Lament is part of healing Lament is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow and it is a crucial part of the healing process. Barnabé explains that often people do not realise how important lament is and may try to stop it, or explain it. This can be very unhelpful.

Where words fall short, being there for the mourner as they cry and pour out their heart, listening to them and weeping with them, is often the best thing we can do. It can also be helpful to acknowledge their pain and sadness as they lament. Growth through grief The grieving process is often a doorway to greater spiritual understanding and deeper relationship with God. Grief is a heavy burden to bear, but when we are able to express it freely and honestly, eventually it will be replaced by relief and lightness. The process of grieving can also lead to praise, as people discover God is in the midst of suffering as Emmanuel, ‘God with us’ (Matthew 1:23).

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